Local Hospital Raided on Charges of Medicare Fraud

Another nationwide Medicare fraud crackdown today again includes Houston, with a local hospital at the center of the Justice Department's sweep.

FBI agents raided Riverside General Hospital in Houston's Third Ward, taking out boxes of files and arresting the hospital's CEO and five others. They're charged in a Medicare fraud scheme that led to $158 million dollars in improper billing for mental health services at the hospital. The Justice Department says the Houston arrests were part of a nationwide crackdown that included 91 arrests in seven cities. Those schemes involved almost $430 million dollars in false Medicare billing.

In the Houston case, the Feds claim officials at Riverside General Hospital paid Medicare beneficiaries with cigarettes, food and trips to the hospital's general store. In return, they would watch TV and play games while the hospital billed Medicare for mental health services. The hospital has been in trouble before. Earlier this year, Riverside's assistant administrator pleaded guilty in a scheme involving $116 million dollars of fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...